Archive for the ‘Mary Ellen’s Meanderings’ Category

Are we having fun yet?

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

by Mary Ellen Eagan

It was with some surprise that I heard TJ Schulz, incoming President of the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) quote me saying we don’t have fun anymore.   But apparently I did, in an article that has just been published in Airport Consulting.  The point I was trying to make is that one of the things that has changed most over the course of my career is the sense that folks are so busy being efficient, productive, and yes – billable – that we don’t take enough time to appreciate our colleagues.   There is apparently a great body of research to support the fact that ‘fun at work’ is important to success.

 

Airport Consulting, Summer 2013

Airport Consulting, Summer 2013

This issue also has a good discussion of generational issues in the workplace, and I’m interested that there are even general differences in thinking about what’s ‘fun’ at work.  So maybe this summer – when things might be just a little bit less frantic – we should try to relax.  Just a bit.  It’s good for us.

LTC Kurt Hellauer

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

by Mary Ellen Eagan

I thought I’d take a moment to recognize the deployment of Kurt Hellauer, LTC US Army.  Kurt joined us a little over a year ago, and has been an invaluable contributor to our recent (and ongoing) PBN NEPA projects, including the Midway Airspace Redesign Environmental Assessment, the Houston OAPM Environmental Assessment, and the North Texas OAPM Environmental Assessment.  He will be on active duty in Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom beginning next week.

It is particularly poignant for Kurt and his family as they have finally moved to Boston just this week!  So it was with much happiness, some sorrow, and a great deal of pride that we simultaneously welcomed Kurt to the neighborhood and said goodbye for a time.  Please join me in wishing Kurt well on his journey and supporting Amie, Mary, and Erin as they also begin a new chapter of their lives in Massachusetts!

A toast to Erin, Kurt, and Amie Hellauer!

A toast to Erin, Kurt, and Amie Hellauer!

I was going to write something about the sacrifices that military families make.  And then I found this, which I think sums it up nicely:

“In our military families, we see the best our country has to offer. They demonstrate the virtues that have made America great for more than two centuries and the values that will preserve our greatness for centuries to come. With loved ones serving far from home, military spouses take on the work of two. Their children show courage and resilience as they move from base to base, school to school, home to home. And even through the strain of deployment, military families strengthen the fabric of each community they touch and enrich our national life as shining examples of patriotism.”   –  Barak Obama, 2012

Thank you for your service, Hellauer Family!

Report from ACI World Environment Standing Committee

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

by Mary Ellen Eagan

I attended my first ACI World Environment Standing Committee meeting in Montreal Canada last week.  It was interesting to learn that airports struggle with many of the same issues around the world.

One of the emerging issues that will be coming to an airport near you is health effects of aviation.  It’s worth reading the World Health Organization’s publication Methodological guidance for estimating the burden of disease from environmental noise, which focuses on the concept of potential years of life lost due to premature death to include equivalent years of healthy life lost by virtue of individuals being in states of poor health or disability. One DALY can be thought of as one lost year of healthy life.

First World Problems, cont’d

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

by Mary Ellen Eagan,

For those of you wondering if I ever got home, here’s the exciting conclusion:

  • DL 2045 (DCA to DTW) scheduled departure 5:15 pm; actual departure 5:54 pm
  • DL 158 (DTW to BOS) scheduled departure 7:50 pm, actual departure 9:50 pm

Grand total for the trip:

  • 9 boarding passes
  • gate-to-gate Day 1: 6 hours
  • gate-to-gate Day 2: 11 hours
  • flight miles BOS-DCA: 393

People were remarkably patient with the situation. Sure they’re angry, but are placing the blame where it belongs: Congress.

I’d be tempted to call this a ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day’, except I’m sure the air traffic situation will get worse before it gets better.  Also, after last week in Boston, it will be a long time before I really have a ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’.

Alexander and the 'Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Vorst

Alexander and the ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Vorst

If one of the main functions of society is to facilitate the movement of people and goods, I think we’re failing pretty spectacularly this week. First world, indeed.

First World Problems

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

by Mary Ellen Eagan

Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 1:30 PM

“Bring a book.”  That was the sage advice given to me by Chris Oswald at ACI-NA last Friday when I told him I was flying from BOS to DCA (via LGA!) on Monday, and back again on Tuesday – just as sequester furloughs are beginning to impact FAA Air Traffic Control (ironically, the trip was to attend a meeting at RTCA on accelerating implementation of NextGen performance based navigation procedures at airports).

So here I sit, at the end of Taxiway A, waiting for clearance from FAA, for what the pilot warned me (last passenger on the plane) would be a three hour delay.

dcaTaxiway

Taxiway A, DCA, April 23, 3013, 1:32PM

So far, the rest of my trip has looked like this:

  • Monday, April 22, DL 5873 (BOS-LGA), scheduled departure: 8:00 am; actual departure: 9:30 am. 
  • Monday, April 22, DL 5911 (LGA-DCA), scheduled departure 10:59 am.  CANCELED.  Rebooked on DL 5907, which was originally scheduled for 9 am, ended up leaving at 12:30 pm.
  • Tuesday, April 23, DL 5916, scheduled departure 2 pm; CANCELED.  Rebooked on DL 5914 (1pm departure), which was assigned a 3-hour delay.  Flight re-numbered to DL 5912 (previously scheduled for 11:59 am and CANCELED).  Scheduled wheels up 2:40 pm.

I know this is only the first and most obvious impact of the sequester on the average voter.  It makes me wonder what less visible – but certainly not less important – government services are being curtailed.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 3:32 PM

I thought I’d be able to wrap it up after that, but fate had other plans.  Since I last checked in, DL 5914/5912 was CANCELED, I was rebooked on DL 5918 (3 pm LGA Shuttle); by the time I arrived at the gate, it had been delayed until 5 pm.  Now rebooked on DL 2045 (through DTW), scheduled for 5 pm, but delayed to 5:40 pm (so far).  Meanwhile, DL 5918 (the delayed 3 pm is back on at 4:30 pm – we’ll see!).

Hopefully, routing around NYC will be the end of this, even if it means getting home at midnight.  I keep reminding myself that I should not be frustrated, but instead thankful for many things:  I’m not rushing back for anything urgent, I’m not traveling with kids, did not check my bags, and have several credit cards in my wallet.